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Immersion Projects -- Africa 2016

Read about the Immersion Projects our participants took charge of and the difference they were able to make.

From RuthAnn Snow:

The immersion project that we decided to fundraise for was a much needed pit latrine in the village of Buwoya. With the help of the Child 2 Youth Organization, we identified a school that was in most need of a new and “modernized” pit latrine--one that would allow the school to empty the latrine every 5 years--rather than rebuild a rudimentary latrine every time it filled up. When we visited Buwoya in July of 2016, we toured the school and current latrine. The crude facility was inadequate for the number of students, teachers and villagers who regularly used it. Male students and faculty at the school usually used the open ground behind a screen for their most basic toilet needs because the latrine was nearing capacity. With insufficient funds to build a pit latrine on their own, the school reached out to Child 2 Youth and asked for help. During our visit of the school, we were able to see the beginning building stages of the pit latrine. Working hand in hand with our Ugandan friends, we moved bricks, mixed mortar and laid the foundation of the latrine. Three months after our visit, we joyfully received pictures of the completed pit latrine that now blesses the lives of so many students and faculty.

From Lauren Wright: For our project, we worked with parents of children with disabilities. We spent time in their home getting to know them and the unique needs they faced helping their child with a disability. For each family, we provided an individualized gift to help their child. We collaborated with local resources to provide the needed adaptive equipment. We were able to help 12 children and their families and ordered two wheelchairs, made two standers/walkers, a shower chair, provided needed clothes and toys and made a generous donation to a disability center to be built to provide better educational opportunities for the local community of children with disabilities. 

From Sarah Combs: Over 140 Days for Girls kits were distributed at four schools in Nyanza, Rwanda. The young women were very thankful for the feminine hygiene supplies and had lots of great questions. The curriculum was comprehensive, including hand washing, proper use and the science behind menstruation. Flip charts were left for future reference. This experience was a highlight for the educators involved.

From Erica Schnee: We participated in the Pastor Francis MicroEnterprise Immersion in June of 2016.  There were many aspects of this immersion which provided valuable learning experiences for all.

We were able to learn about and visit a number of different microenterprise projects that Pastor Francis oversees.  These included a millett grinder, a pig farmer, several small roadside shopkeepers, a yogurt packager, a clothing seller, a hair stylist, and a furniture maker.

We were able to create a system to support the local microenterprises in which local entrepreneurs applied for a small loan and their repayment of the loan would be managed by Pastor Francis and his wife as they continued to make small loans moving forward and also built a new building at the school that could be used as a community center.

We were also able to work in small groups with local entrepreneurs as they refined and created microenterprise projects they hoped to pursue in the future.

From Kim Henson: My experience with Pastor Francis and his school in Uganda helped remind me why I became a teacher. It’s all about teaching students. I worked with my P3 boys in the mornings and we were a team! We would laugh, sing, and learn together...I cried when I had to leave. In the afternoons, we visited some of the micro businesses in the area. It was pretty powerful to see how these amazing people were bettering their lives. It was a tremendous experience!

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